Writing history is an act of interpretation. Creating art about history further separates past events from the final.

What happens when an artwork tells a story that distorts an actual event? What if that “distorted” artwork communicates a historical “truth”?

Below is a famous image from a civil rights protest in Birmingham. The image tells a powerful story. It turns out that the actual events leading up to the image and the people involved tell a much different story than one we would infer simply by looking at the image.

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There is a sculpture, based on the above image, that tells an even more dramatic story pictured below. What does it mean if the artwork, though powerful, does not accurately tell the actual story of the events it is depicting? What if it tells the truth of the brutality of the crackdown on the civil rights movement through inaccurately depicting an event? What does all this say about the power of artwork? The connection between history and art?

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Below is a link to Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast that discusses these issues.

“You’re not going to believe what I’m about to tell you.”

Why are people so reluctant to change their minds? This well-researched and well-presented cartoon delves into that very important question. It also helps elucidate the relationship between emotion and reason when our belief system is challenged.

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http://theoatmeal.com/comics/believe

How East and West think in profoundly different ways

“Psychologists are uncovering the surprising influence of geography on our reasoning, behaviour, and sense of self.”

“Some of the most notable differences revolved around the concepts of “individualism” and “collectivism”; whether you consider yourself to be independent and self-contained, or entwined and interconnected with the other people around you, valuing the group over the individual. Generally speaking – there are many exceptions – people in the West tend to be more individualist, and people from Asian countries like India, Japan or China tend to be more collectivist.”

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170118-how-east-and-west-think-in-profoundly-different-ways

All maps are wrong. I cut open a globe to show why.

“Maps are flat representations of our spherical planet. I cut open a plastic globe to understand just what it takes to turn a sphere into something flat:”

http://www.vox.com/world/2016/12/2/13817712/map-projection-mercator-globe?utm_source=Premium+TOK+newsletter+subscribers&utm_campaign=d8aa291c26-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_01_06&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f031581d64-d8aa291c26-98485421&mc_cid=d8aa291c26&mc_eid=34e2887073

 

Maps have North at the top, but it could have been different

p03yc9fk.jpg“Why are almost all modern maps the same way up? Caroline Williams explores the intriguing history that led to this orientation – and discovers why it shapes how we see the world in more ways than we realise.”

Police Body Cameras: What Do You See?

Interesting set of videos that shows you the limitations of what we can learn from body cameras on police officers. It also raises issues around how our prior knowledge, expectations, and experiences affect what we see when we interpret a given situation.

“This confirms what Professor Stoughton has found in his own presentations with judges, lawyers and students: What we see in police video footage tends to be shaped by what we already believe.

“‘Our interpretation of video is just as subject to cognitive biases as our interpretation of things we see live,’ Professor Stoughton said. ‘People disagree about policing and will continue to disagree about exactly what a video shows.’

“Race can also play a role. While Professor Stoughton’s work did not seek to determine how the race of the driver affected viewers’ conclusions, numerous studies have shown that some sort of conscious or unconscious bias is present in all of us, including law enforcement.”

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/04/01/us/police-bodycam-video.html